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I have friends round.

I have friends over.

I hear both are used by native speakers, and these two sentences seem to mean the same to me.

However, some web sites say the sentence " I have friends over". means they will also stay.

Is there such a significant difference?

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Yes, these can be be seen in the phrasal verbs "come over" and "come round". Both mean visit someone at their home.

One difference might be that if the person has travelled a great distance, I'd use "over".

I have my parents over from India.

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  • In AmE, I have friends round, means you're from somewhere else and perhaps friends are visiting? Or hanging out? Or sleeping on your couches? Maybe you've wrangled up a posse? Hard to say.
    – EllieK
    Mar 27, 2023 at 18:29
  • Oxford says Used to convey the idea of visiting someone else. - "Why don't you come round to my flat?" No indication that they are staying the night. Mar 27, 2023 at 18:46
  • @KateBunting - Webster's has no such definition, leading me to believe this is strictly a British usage. My point was that in AmE having friends round means having friends around (i.e. nearby), which can be taken any number of ways. It would most commonly be expressed similarly to, Karen and Mike will be around later today. But it is very uncommon to hear, I am having friends around tonight. We would almost always use over in that sentence.
    – EllieK
    Mar 28, 2023 at 13:09

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